UK Mk6 Chinook Successfully Completes First Flight
LONDON, United Kingdom, April 15, 2013 - Boeing [NYSE: BA] successfully completed the first test flight of the new CH-47 Mk6 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter for the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force on March 15, a full week ahead of schedule. The flight, which occurred at Boeing’s Chinook production facility, confirmed initial airworthiness of the new Mk6 variant.
“This is a truly impressive achievement for both Boeing and the project team,” said Captain David Childs, Chinook Team Leader, UK Defence Equipment & Support. “To see the first aircraft fly less than 20 months after contract signature is a source of great pride for all those involved in this key project.”
The Mk6 Chinook is the RAF’s new heavy-lift cargo helicopter and features a machined monolithic airframe, UK-specific avionics, forward-looking infrared system, a rescue hoist, advanced defensive systems, and interoperable communication and navigation equipment. The aircraft provides enhanced situational awareness for improved safety and mission. The aircraft recently self deployed to Mesa, Arizona and will now undergo a comprehensive flight test program before being delivered to the United Kingdom later this year.
Boeing employs more than 1,300 people across the UK at numerous sites, from Glasgow to Gosport, and the company is experiencing solid organic growth. In 2013 Boeing celebrates 75 years of partnership with the United Kingdom, the Armed Forces, British manufacturing and the air transport industry. Today the UK remains a critically important market, supplier base and a source of some of the world’s most inventive technology partners. Boeing’s expenditure with the UK aerospace industry averages $1billion per year and supports tens of thousands of jobs, in the process enhancing skills, facilitating exports and generating intellectual property.